Season of Joy

Season of Joy

The happiest season has finally arrived! Not just the holiday season, but this season of life. There’s always a rainbow after rain. A season ending in sorrow has made way for light to shine through. Filling this time with joy, laughter, revelation, an abundance of love and so much more. My heart is content, and my love tank overflows.

A season ending in sorrow

An unexpected and incomprehensible tragedy occurred mid-October. My dear Aunt Alex suddenly passed away. This caused my family an immense amount of heartache.

With the all to short of time Alex got to be a mommy, she demonstrated a strength with vulnerability, and loved her baby passionately and fiercely. Within a years time this baby lost both of her parents. I pray that she is reminded daily that she had a mommy and daddy who loved her without limits. Standing on the word of God, The Lord is the Father to the fatherless and he will never leave them.

The light shinning through

With this unexpected heartache my mom flew from South Carolina much earlier than expected. While my older sister here in Michigan was due in November, my mom and younger sisters ended up staying at my house for nearly a month in between. I had the opportunity to spend much needed time with each of them and it truly blessed me to have them around.

On November 7th, we got to welcome Jayce Jordan into the world A very long and tiring 3.5 hours later, Jensen James made his first appearance on November 8th.

Kayla showed so much strength carrying, delivering, and loving these babies. They are so blessed to have her as a mommy.

After spending time with the babies my family had to say see you later and head back to South Carolina after a very long and exhausting month away from home.

Since adjusting back to life as we know it, we couldn’t let The Webb Homestead stay quiet for too long. We have excitedly welcomed four new Boer goats. Three of the beauties should be ready to “kid” in May, while the fourth has some growing to do. The baby of the group may have stolen our hearts with her clingy desire to be right there with us while doing all the chores in the barn.

We have spent our time building beautiful new pens in the barn, preparing for the treacherous Michigan winter, and loving on our animals. It’s made my heart grow immensely spending time next to the man I love while doing what we’re passionate about together.

Our homestead encompasses so many things that fills my heart with gratitude. I am grateful to come inside from doing chores to a warm, cozy house that’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you need an environment to feel surrounded by love, stop by! So much love goes into everything we do and we would love for you to share it with us.

Until next time,

Samantha

Covenant Relationship

In honor of wedding season coming to an end I thought I would share something very dear to my heart. On June 3, 2016 Lucas and I had the opportunity to savor God’s love for us by entering into a covenant relationship that echoes Jesus’ steadfast love for his bride. We wrote personal vows that moved the hearts of our closest friends and family and I would like to extend our love and commitments to each other with you all.

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Samantha,

I promise to be your companion and your friend, your strength when you need it and your shoulder to cry on. I promise to love you for eternity, respecting you, honoring you, being faithful to you, and sharing my life with you. Your beauty, your heart, and your compassion inspire me to be the best person I can be. I can only hope to one day believe in myself as much as you believe in me. I promise to support you, affirm you, and build you up, not tear you down. You amaze me every day with your strength and compassion; I promise to never hold you back from being every thing you were made to be. You have shown me that is is possible to love someone more each and every day. You’re my best friend. You’re my special girl. You’re always there for me. You’re the girl who convinced me that anything is possible as long as you’re there by my side. You’re not just the girl of my dreams, you’re the girl of my future.

Lucas

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My love,

As we stand here on our wedding day, my heart is overflowing with love for you. Since you came into my life, you have been a source of love and joy. You are full of kindness, patience and faithfulness. I am so proud of the Man of God that you are. Without an ounce of hesitation I can say that you truly make me a better person. The way you love me is unlike anything I have ever known before. With you I feel secure and completely accepted. You truly see me for who I am, with all the broken and shattered pieces completely exposed, you wrap me in your arms and love me without limits. The simplicity of our love is what I love the most, we fit together so naturally and effortlessly. Since the beginning, I knew you were the one I would choose to love for the rest of my life; but with each day I have grown a deeper and stronger love for you. With each day to come I will continue to choose love.

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would be marrying a man who could love me how my daddy loves me. Anyone in this room can tell you that the love he has for me is the most pure form of love you will ever see. I am thankful that you have taken that single expectation and you love me every day with that same pure love. I am astonished and excited that I get to wake up to you every morning. I feel blessed beyond words to have found each other. I am so lucky to be in love with my best friend.

Today I commit my life as your wife. You are the love of my life, Lucas William, and I promise to let you know that every day. I promise to smother you when you nearly pass out, and step out of the way when you tell me to move. I will take care of you and appreciate you every day. Today I give you my deepest love. I open my heart to you as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, where you may find love and strength. I will celebrate you in times of joy and I will support you in heartache. I will be the Woman of God I was created to be and constantly push myself to choose the Fruits of the Spirit. Today, I pledge my love to you and look forward to every moment that I get to share with you. I love you.

Samantha

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From this day on we have been able to demonstrate our love for one another in the deepest and also most practical ways. Each day we have the opportunity to choose love and to walk in faithfulness. Not each day is a walk in the park, but each day is worth while if we learn a new way to move the heart of one another.

 

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Millennial Farming

Millennial Farming

There is a very clear stigma associated with millennials. Just for a moment, forget the stereotypical shallow, self-centered, lazy versions of millennials you read about and take a look at my life.

At 20-years-young my life looks dramatically different than those my age. I am married, working a full time job, and growing a farm… and I wouldn’t change a thing. My husband and I were not handed a farm, and have begun by building from the ground up. We have an understanding that growing the farm takes resiliency, determination, hope, sweat, and perseverance.

The most well-known attribute millennials have is their understanding of technology. With access to research of all kinds, were not afraid of trying new concepts or approaches to farming. First-generation farms can truly be powerful because there is no preconceived idea of what it should look like or how it should be done. This adaptation and change in practices can change the images we associate with a farm… Beginning with what a farmer looks like. When people hear of what we’re doing, they often look at me with a surprised expression and say “I never would have pictured you to be a farmer.” Rightfully so, I have never seen anyone else wear pearls in the pig pen either. Additionally, the entire operation begins to look different than any farm you have ever seen. While we share a passion for agriculture with farmers from other generations, we are also breaking the standards and developing a new perspective.  We are shaping our farm with our passion to share our beliefs, and as millennials we are taking agriculture to the next level.

It is becoming more common for millennials and upcoming generations to have a connection with where their food comes from. Consumers are becoming aware of what goes on in the broken industrial food system and have a desire to be a part of the local food movement. As we join this movement we recognize the number of young couples in agriculture are few and the number of farms that can relate to millennials are fewer. A future in which food is safer, healthier, and environmentally friendly can exist while the status quo of farming is dramatically altered. The opportunity for young farmers has never been better, and it should be a future that everyone can get behind.

Consider supporting a local farm and stand behind millennial farmers who are passionate about entrepreneurship and strengthening the magnitude of the Local Food Movement.

-Samantha Webb

Wild Pasture Co. 

Joining the Local Food Movement

Joining the Local Food Movement

We are always excited to come up with creative ideas to inspire and create. We have recently expanded our homestead to share a piece of our farm with others. This week we launched our business!

Introducing:

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We are so excited about Wild Pasture Company and the opportunity to share our excitement and commitment to raising healthy meat. We recognize the importance of the local food movement and we want to create a local resource for consumers. Visit Wild Pasture Company to see more! We would love any feedback and suggestions. What do you want to see us offer? How should we expand next?

I recently graduated with a business degree anticipating the day I would own and operate my own business. I am excited to branch out in different magnitudes to establish solid roots here in Southwest Michigan.

Your support means the world! Thank you for reading, thank you for following, thank you for your encouragement. We welcome you to pray with us as we learn and grow. With wisdom we want to turn our passion into our dream jobs.

 

 

 

The Chronicles of Pig Farming: PT 1

I thought raising pigs would be easy when I thought it just entailed making sure they are fed, secure, and happy…

Some days that is all it takes… maybe on the hot days spray them down with a hose… But, in light of recent events, we learn that it’s not always pig pies and flies (that’s how the saying goes, right?).

Allow me to preface the story:

We are currently up to NINE pigs. Four little ones, two 50lb boars, and the three OGs. Quite an increase from the last time I shared. We had a pen set up for the babies, a pen in the barn for the boars, the original fencing for the first three, and an electric fence pen set up around the wooded area in hopes of getting the big guys to move out there.

Alright… story time:

While at work Lucas contacted me to let me know we had a pig that was limping. We both were rather concerned never experiencing an animal injury before. I let him know that I could come home early to help separate her from the other two. Before I got home he managed to do it on his own. The Vet arrived shortly after I got home. He said it was the equivalent of us spraining an ankle and that he could give her some medicine to help with the pain. It took the three of us to pin her to get that taken care of, but quite frankly that was the easiest part of the day.  We then discussed how to keep her separated while she rests her injury… after some finagling we got her set up in a corner of the pen and allowed the other two back into the rest of the pen. We had been consistently trying to get these three to move to the electric fence but it wasn’t really working. We started feeding them at the end of the pen and slowly worked on getting them more accustomed to going down to where they needed to be to cross into their new pen. We decided to reopen the path between the two pens and put their food all the way in, in hopes of coming home to them being right where we wanted them.

*big sigh* SO… we leave to enjoy the county fair for a few hours with my in-laws dispite of the current state of dehydration and heat exhaustion.  We come home and immediately head down to the pigs to check on the situation. We first notice that our injured pig got busted out of her temporary pen by her friends…  That wasn’t really a big deal at all. When we took another step we saw the bigger issue.. we had one of the boars in with the big pigs and one boar not in the pen at all…


Don’t ask me how they both escaped their pen and ended up in two different locations… I have no idea.

We know we need extra hands and call my in-laws immediately. They head over and we come up with several different plans to catch this pig. Our next problem is getting the other boar out of the pen with the big guys.. so here we are catching our second pig of the night. Might I add that these two are not trained to electric fencing yet and we had to keep unplugging the power to get them to where they needed to be.. all while the three pigs were FINALLY happily in the pen that is secured by electric fence ONLY. We then had to use the hog panels from the babies pen to complete the new area for those guys. I chased the baby pigs in circles to pass across the fence. Ultimately, we had to finagle fencing and pigs to completely swap locations of the little pigs and big pigs. After a lot of laughing at our situation, a lot of sweat, a lot of work, and a lot of help. We did it! I may have had dreams all night of catching pigs, but this is the life we live… and they are all secure and much happier this morning.


Here is the only picture I grabbed all day…  Can you spot her? Little miss piggy resting her sprain.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I’ve been having a hard time trying to articulate the past couple weeks. Life has been full, and truthfully quite draining. I have been anticipating a day of rest and the ability to organize my thoughts here.

Allow me to catch you up on what’s been happening…

Just after our anniversary I began working on our upstairs remodel. We needed to get our bed upstairs because my family was coming from South Carolina to stay with us. The remodel got to the halfway point and is at a bit of a stand still until we have more time and energy.

My mom and newly adopted one year old sister stayed most of the week with us and we had so much fun! The baby loved spending time outside and continuously asked to go see the pigs. My 17 year old sister and my stepdad came up later in the week. Together me and my sister tried our hand at soap making… The next morning I woke up to semi-successful bars of soap and coconut oil covering my entire kitchen counter. (PSA make sure the lid to any oil is all the way on before throwing it in a grocery bag.) I spent at least an hour taking care of that mess. After that discouragement I thought my attitude might change once I checked on all the animals. It didn’t. I discovered that the connection between the hose and the pigs drinking nozzle was loose and had been spraying in the barn portion of the pig pen all night. Not knowing what to do I simply turned their water supply off and waited for Luke to get up. We didn’t have too much fun cleaning up that mess but at least he thinks I’m cute in rubber boots…

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Overall, it was a full and exciting week with my family. While they were here we (mostly Luke) built another chicken tractor and it is amazing! He will be writing about this one soon! We also scored a great deal on a nice little truck for the farm as we maxed out our Chevy Malibu with 300+ pounds of feed. Every farm needs a truck! Not excited to say bye to *my* Fusion but excited that the truck will be so much more efficient for us.

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When the excitement of the week was coming to an end we received a phone call from our sister-in-law informing us that Luke’s brother was having health concerns. The diagnosis is cancer but we remain hopeful and confident in The Lord. The team that’s been working with him has been incredible. They are using the word curative more than treatable which is so encouraging. Everyone in the family is still digesting everything that’s happened over the course of this week. Life throws these unexpected things toward us but luckily our family is so blessed by such an amazing community.

Asking any believers to pray for abdomen pain to subside so he can come home and begin his road to recovery. Continuous prayer includes wisdom, peace, and super natural healing.

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We warned you that we’d be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks for joining us.

-Samantha

The Why

The Why

So we’re new around here. New to blogging and new to farming. So far we have established we have no idea what we are doing and we want to document the good, the bad, and the ugly and share it with the world.

How did we even get here?! I would have never imagined life to be this way…

Complete with a home built over 100 years ago, land that requires TLC, pigs, rabbits, and ESPECIALLY chickens. I come from a tiny town, a tiny home, and a tiny family. My only familiarity with nature was an occasional stroll through the woods when the mosquitoes were not completely overwhelming.  My husband on the other hand comes from a large family, a large home, and his childhood was spent doing all things outdoors. His family actually raises various animals on a small scale as well. When I visited his family I was introduced to free-ranged chickens. Birds frighten me… I can’t be the only one petrified of over-sized birds that literally chase you. I am thankful that my husband looked past my fears and lack of desire to surround myself with what I would have called “smelly animals that are too much work” and decided he still wanted to ask me to be his wife.

 

Even starting our lives together we had no idea what we wanted our life together to look like. Oddly enough, some things just naturally unfold and you end up right where you are supposed to be.

The thought of hard work has never scared us. I currently work 40 hours a week and Lucas works 38, and 50 hours alternating weeks. Additionally, farming and home renovations can be time consuming and undoubtedly requires a lot of self sacrifice.

So why do we do what we do?

We are passionate about contributing to something greater than ourselves. We are consumed with joy when we get to spend time together outdoors. We enjoy having a place to gather and create memories. We have hopes and dreams of starting our own business. We gain a sweet appreciation for the beauty shaped by the hand of The Father. The reasons truly are endless. Most of all we want to share our dedication to working hard with others to inspire and encourage you to get off your couch and do something you love.

“I imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work they do, feeling that they have contributed to something greater than themselves.”

-Simon Sinek

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We are staying busy, and most days you will find us outdoors– but for now we will head back inside to work on our upstairs renovation. After all, we only have one week before we need another bedroom available for family.

Samantha

Something to Celebrate

Something to Celebrate

There are so many things to be celebrating in our lives right now. Just last month I graduated college with an Associates in Business Administration, we celebrated Luke’s birthday, we moved into our home, and we started growing our homestead… from two dogs… to 2 dogs, 3 pigs, 39 chickens, and 2 rabbits.

That is a lot to be thankful for!

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Today we have a very special reason to celebrate some more. It is our One Year Wedding Anniversary! One year ago was the best day we have experienced together, and surely it will always be a day we cherish.

Our wedding was full of SO much love. Our loved ones truly celebrated us. So many friends and family members dedicated their time to helping prep for the wedding in the days leading up to the event. Our vows were special. I am almost certain there was not a dry eye in the room. The reception was breath taking. When every one remembers the food and tells you that they felt like they were at a wedding from a movie, you know it was a success! I would agree with our guests that it felt like a fairy tale… of course we will ignore the moment I wanted to start crying because I bought parking tickets for the parking garage attached to the venue… and it happened to be the day of the biggest festival in Kalamazoo. There wasn’t parking available for blocks. Did you know if you get out of a car stopped at a green light in a wedding dress on the busiest street in downtown Kalamazoo every one’s road rage seems to dissipate–they will actually cheer for you!

It is astonishing to reflect on the past year and the transitions we have gone through. It wasn’t necessarily the easiest year of my life and it came with a few trials but it lead to an incredible amount of growth.

We experienced a schedule that was not quite ideal for newly weds, getting little time to connect and few nights to sleep next to each other. This was incredibly challenging in the beginning and I quickly felt bitter when others would share how great it is to sleep next to someone every night. I can see now that without this season we would not have been able to get to where we are now. We were both working incredibly hard to obtain our goals. When my car decided to break down on the side of I-94 for the millionth time we were able to purchase a second reliable car. When we could hardly stand being cramped in a tiny rental with two dogs for another minute, we were able to start looking for a house. When unexpected medical bills popped up, we were able to pay them off immediately and didn’t have to feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. I only share this because these were HUGE victories for us. Great achievements are usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness. We truly couldn’t change job schedules, or my college classes and we had to sacrifice a lot of our wants and desires during this season.

An incredible amount of growth always happens when you don’t get what you want. I am thankful we learned the lesson of sacrifice early on. I still don’t *looooooveee* the fact that we still experience at least three days a week of hardly seeing each other: on those days the moments we get together is the mere five minutes when I am sleepily trying to get out of bed while he is crawling in bed, and a phone call while I am on my way home from work and he is on his way to work… But this is how my husband is able to provide for our family and our ever-growing homestead. I have also learned to appreciate having the bed to myself a few nights a week. I am entirely grateful for the opportunity to work hard and obtain a sense of satisfaction through doing all things with excellence with joy in my heart.

I am blessed to be sharing this life with such a humble, self-sacrificing, hardworking man. My love has already grown far deeper than I could have ever imagined. Learning and growing together allows for deep connections and a ton of opportunity to show love in such practical and seemingly simple ways. Jumping into homesteading together was one of the best decisions we could have made. There are endless opportunities to grow and learn together. This adventure is just beginning and I can only imagine what year two will look like. I have a feeling it will be full of animals and all things homesteading.

If you are new here, welcome! We have a lot of exciting things in store for year two. Be the first to know when we have something to share by following The Webb Homestead. Find our “firsts” as a source of joy, inspiration, encouragement, or entertainment. We are excited to keep you updated as we grow our homestead and as our future plans begin to unfold.

Samantha

 

Farmhouse Makeover

Farmhouse Makeover

 

The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind. The last weekend of February we were able to put an offer on what we will call a “cute-from-the-outside farmhouse.” We looked at this house and could see great potential in it. We made an offer significantly lower than the list price and they accepted our offer within two days. March was the longest month of our lives. If we were not Pinterest-ing all the projects and ideas we wanted to work on, we were at Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes comparing prices and understanding and adapting to the other persons likes and dislikes. Most things we naturally agreed on making it very simple to decide on materials and styles. At last… 20 visits to home improvement stores later we got the keys to the house on April 11th. Immediately after closing, we showed up to the house ready for demo.

Let’s jump right into why we initially thought the houses only beauty was found on the outside.

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The previous home owners replaced all the windows, the siding, and roofing all pretty recently. They spent a lot of time on the exterior. If you explored the 12 acres it sits on, you could see why it was a priority. The beauty that surrounds the home is unreal. Since this photo was taken we have had amazing things blooming all around the house.

Let’s make our way right over to the before and after pictures of the interior. My mind is still blown at this transformation. Lucas and I worked really hard to make this happen, with very little help. We do owe a big thanks to my father-in-law for a couple days of some serious dry wall mudding, Grandpa Webb for teaching and helping with electrical, and both of our dads for loaning us countless tools in the process.

 Before:

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After:

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It “only” took removing paneling, finishing drywall, removing dropped tile, pulling 1,000 staples, removing water damage, sanding, more sanding, trimming windows, evening the floor with underlayment, figuring out how to lay vinyl plank flooring, building things, replacing appliances, adding new outlets and switches, installing can lights and completely new light fixtures… okay we did a lot but wow we were ambitious. I am sure I didn’t even list half the projects. The transformation is not over yet, but after working tirelessly for 3 weeks we were ready to start focusing on the outside of our homestead. We will be coming back to our inside projects in the near future. Specifically, the upstairs… where an awkward two bedrooms that take you back to the 70s will turn into a master suite and a slightly smaller second bedroom updated to match the rest of the house.

Lucas did an amazing job proving how handy he truly is by making all the logistics of the remodel work. I impressed myself with the aesthetics.

My favorite transformations are two of the biggest focal points of the house. I was excited to take on the kitchen cabinets. As nostalgic as the green cabinets were, they had to go. This project had the most steps but with the end result in mind I didn’t want to rush it and was able to stay motivated. Lucas built the boxes above the cabinets and hung the crown molding to make our low kitchen ceiling appear taller. My second favorite transformation is the gigantic staircase to the tiny loft area. My father-in-law made my vision possible with this one by replacing a section of the railing with a wall. The extra railing was awkward, while a wall highlighted the 12 foot ceiling in the entry way. Additionally, the staircase needed to be brightened. I will say sanding an entire staircase and then painting it three times while Luke was at work was not my idea of a good time. However, since this is the first thing you see when you walk in, I’m surely glad I spent a lot of time on it.

Our fixer upper was worth the time and energy, a comfortable home is the world! Moving into the “after” from our 600 square ft. rental was a dream come true. We went from no space for a dining table or guests, to being able to host as many people as we want. We are excited to share our hard work with you and would love to hear your feedback! If you are interested in how we did certain projects in this transformation go to our contact page and let us know! Then look for a post categorized as “Works For Me” and Lucas will share “our” how and what we learned in the process.

The Piginning

The Piginning

“A pot filled with happiness, suspense and a million things to explore. Strongly flavored with dreams and a tablespoon of luck to complement those dreams. Add to taste love and care. Garnished with thoughts and ideas. Served hot, alongside surprises.” Sounds appealing, and like the perfect metaphor for what my life has become. A HUGE pot full of surprises.

If an individual told me just six months ago I would be living in a home that was built in the 1800s and would soon be on the brink of growing a homestead, my reply would have sounded something like; ‘I think you are prophesying over the wrong person.’ My husband on the other hand, was ready for it. It may have took some convincing on his end, but I would say I warmed up to the idea quickly. Dreams and goals have engulfed my life and each one involves our home and property.

Just a short month has passed since we closed on our house, and since we have done an incredible amount of work modernizing our farmhouse. While there is a never ending list of projects (they say home ownership will do that to a person), we have decided to go beyond our four walls and expand our animal friends. When Lucas mentioned raising pigs my reaction was definitely “YOU WANTED TO START ANIMALS THIS YEAR? Can we just…. get comfortable?” In my mind it was just going to stay on the “to-do” list for a verrrrry long time. Surprisingly enough I was the one who came across the piglets for sale. Before I could even process it we got the supplies we needed and headed to pick up three pigs. It was quite fun being completely new to this. We had no means to get them home, we had no idea how to pick them out, we didn’t even know how to hold them… You know who might know what they are doing… the people of the internet. Thanks to countless threads, blogs, or articles, we realized we had a large dog carrier that would work great for transporting our pigs home safely. We got to the pig farm, picked out pigs based on color, and off we went!

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Getting them into the truck was a breeze (we had people who knew what they were doing help us get them loaded.) Getting them to our pig pen down the hill was another story. We could not drive the truck very close to the barn because we had already got it stuck in mud one time already–didn’t want to experience that again. If anyone saw us trying to maneuver 150 pounds of pig all the way down to the pen they would have seen a show. But alas, we made it.. and so did the pigs. Now they are happily rooting and able to move freely in their new pen, enjoying cool water, and Non GMO feed. Just a shameless pastured pig plug for our future pork customers. (If this interests you, send us a message! We raise happy pigs!)

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I would like to note that building a fence like this would generally be a two man job, but my over-achiever of a husband got it done on his own while I was at work… Really, what can he not do?!

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Watching the pigs in the evening has become my new favorite thing, and seeing how they interact with each other has been beyond entertaining. What was I doing before we had pigs again? I think they are starting to consume my life and I am perfectly okay with that.

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We are filled with so much joy and are excited to start making our dreams become a reality. Our homestead is going to grow beyond our three little pigs. We hope to continue to share our brand new experiences with you while providing a source of joy, entertainment, encouragement or even how-to. Thanks for joining us on our journey, we hope you stay awhile!